Diplomat pudding is very, very close to my heart. It’s the very first recipe I learned as a pastry apprentice in 1976. I find that these are at their best when they’re just warm, not cold, and definitely not fridge cold.
This is the French version of a bread and butter pudding and what’s great is you can use bread that isn’t the freshest - bread that’s stale that would otherwise end up in the bin.
For the creme anglaise
- 250 ml (10 fl oz) milk
- 250 ml (10 fl oz) single cream
- 4 eggs
- 150 gm (5 oz) caster sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
For the pudding
- 4 slices brioche
- 4 slices good quality loaf bread
- icing sugar for dusting
- 30 gm (2 tbsp) golden raisins
- 30 gm (2 tbsp) sultanas
- 60 ml (3 tbsp) dark rum
- apricot jam, to glaze
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time: 5-10 minutes
Preheat oven to about 180°C. Take the crusts of the breads and discard, then cut bread into large dice, dust with a little icing sugar and toast in oven until crisp.
After removing bread from oven, reduce heat to 140ºC.
Mix the cream, milk, sugar and egg together then pass through a sieve; add the vanilla seeds from the bean. Place the raisins and sultanas in a pan and cover with cold water, bring to a boil then strain. Put them into a dish to cool and add the rum to macerate.
Butter 6 individual sized ramekin dishes.
Put the bread pieces into the ramekins. Addraisins, sultanas and rum to the milk mixture then ladle this into the dishes over the bread. Cover with a buttered piece of foil and then bake in a bain-marie at 140ºC for 30 minutes or until set. Leave to cool for at least five minutes.
Turn out of the dishes and glaze with a little warmed apricot jam.
This is a great way to use up any last slices of Michel’s easy sandwich loaf.